Airport Courthouse, Defrauding a Shopkeeper, Dismissal

Our client, age 40, entered a nail salon on Lincoln Boulevard in Westchester and asked for a pedicure.  She was with her “boyfriend,” a man she met about an hour earlier when she was released from a Welfare & Institutions Code § 5150 (mental illness episode) hold.
 
Her “boyfriend” gave her a bottle of vodka, which she drank entirely in about ten minutes, and told her he would pay for the pedicure if she wanted one.  She said yes.  They then drove from Pasadena, where the hospital was, to Westchester, near his house, for the pedicure.

The nail salon employee finished the pedicure and asked our client for payment.  Our client turned to look for her “boyfriend” and could not find him.  The nail salon then called the Los Angeles Police Department, who arrived at the scene within minutes.

Our client explained that she had no intention of receiving anything for free and the nail salon employee confirmed that a man had entered the salon with our client, but he left shortly thereafter.

Police immediately noticed that our client appeared drunk and thus arrested her on grounds of defrauding an innkeeper (Penal Code § 537(a)(1)) and public intoxication (Penal Code § 647(f)).  She was taken to the Pacific Division station, where she was released to her mom.

Her mom then arranged to have her daughter enter a six-month residential treatment program for dual diagnosis treatment.  As hinted above, our client was eager to drink enormous amounts of alcohol and could without too much effect, as she was an alcoholic.  She was also fond of methamphetamine, but not as much.
 
Alcohol had controlled her life since about age 14.  As a juvenile, she accumulated thirteen juvenile adjudications, each related in some way to alcohol abuse in some way.  Once an adult, she sustained four felony convictions, including one for vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as two more felony DUI’s and one felony conviction for evading a police officer. 

She also sustained five misdemeanor convictions, including three misdemeanor DUI’s (total of six DUI’s), hit and run (while drunk), willful cruelty to a child (her child), driving on a license suspended pursuant to a DUI (Vehicle Code § 14601.2) and giving false information to a police officer.  She also had three pending public intoxication cases in three different courts in California.

The client needed a residential treatment program quite urgently.
 
The mom contacted Greg Hill & Associates to handle two of the public intoxication matters and the defrauding an innkeeper case described herein.  As to the last matter, filed at the Airport Courthouse, Greg immediately put together a Motion for Civil Compromise under Penal Code §§ 1377 and 1378.

Kellie Stame of Greg Hill & Associates then drove to the nail salon and secured the signed declaration from the salon owner that he was fully compensated for the loss, upon receiving $23.20 for the pedicure later from our client’s mom, and that he was not interested in any prosecution of our client.

Greg then filed the motion in the Airport Courthouse and served the handling Los Angeles City Attorney.  The prosecutor was well aware of the client’s extensive alcohol history and did not oppose the motion.  The judge, also aware of the six DUI’s and other convictions, kindly granted the motion, although he warned Greg Hill to admonish our client that he would not exercise his discretion in her favor if he sees her ever again in a criminal case.

The client and her mom were extremely happy to have this small victory, as it actually was the client’s first and only theft offense, now dismissed.

For more information about defrauding an innkeeper issues, please click on the following articles:
  1. What Is Defrauding an Innkeeper (Penal Code § 537)?
  2. Dine and Dash?  Defrauding an Innkeeper (Penal Code § 537) Can also Be Charged As Felony Petty Theft
  3. What Is a Motion for Civil Compromise?
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